Damn the Internet! Damn it, I say!

Nicholas Carr, in the current Atlantic Monthly writes the follow in “Is Google Making Us Stupid?“.

Immersing myself in a book or a lengthy article used to be easy. My mind would get caught up in the narrative or the turns of the argument, and I’d spend hours strolling through long stretches of prose. That’s rarely the case anymore. Now my concentration often starts to drift after two or three pages. [. . .]

A few Google searches, some quick clicks on hyperlinks, and I’ve got the telltale fact or pithy quote I was after. [. . .]

And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.

Forty-five minutes ago, I had just read the first few pages of Röpke’s A Humane Economy; then, I heard Mail’s new-e-mail alert and, promptly, put the book aside to see from whom I’d received a missive, joke, or notification. I’ve yet to return to the Wilhelm. Replace “Google” with “Internet”, if you, as I, must, and then, straight-faced, tell me that you can respond to Carr with a simple “No.” I can’t.


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